By David Minsky
By Nicole Danna
By Sara Ventiera
By Candace West
By Emily Dabau
By Doug Fairall
By Candace West
By Laine Doss
The region of Colombia most in evidence at CocoLoco's seems to be coastal, given the servings of white rice instead of potatoes (seen more often in the interior of the country) and the freshness of the pargo rojo frito, or deep-fried red snapper. This whole fish appeared to be browned to the point of being overcooked but in fact was just right, the flesh retaining its moisture and the skin offering batter-laced crunch. As far as seafood goes, the cazuela and the arroz con camarones are just about your only entrée options, while patacones rellenos con camarones are the single appetizer. We were delighted with this last item, little deep-fried baskets of plantain cuddling bay shrimp that had been sautéed with a generous dollop of minced garlic. Spoon on the aioli for extra punch.
The only real drawback to be noted about CocoLoco's, where service is polite and conducted by necessity with nods, finger-pointing, and other sign-language gestures, is the terrific volume of the music. But the noise level does drown out the crying of the young babies, oddly making for a supper that is at once raucous and peaceful. In the end, though entertaining, the thunderous Latin rhythms drove us to forgo the postres (dessert) course and strike out for home. And while I doubt I'll be returning to spoon ubiquitous flan into my kids' mouths, you can bet I'll be back for the pargo, not to mention the party, on a Saturday night when I have a baby sitter in the house.
As for Gatsby's, the over-21 policy might just fly very well at the place's original Boca Raton location, where, despite an influx of families, the population holds steady at an average age of, oh, about 50. But I will venture that, in the more familial Davie, Gatsby proprietors are likely to hear more than a bit of grumbling, particularly because they don't tell callers over the phone about the age requirement. While the owners of Gatsby's and other "sort-of" nightclubs like them are free to lay their own ground rules, I consider myself equally free to gripe about them. And though these business owners may think the policy spells class for the majority of clients who patronize the establishment, those of us who are left out in the heat might just want to call it class action.
Perhaps I do like being an American after all.